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Category: Oncology | Monthly Briefing

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July 2010 Briefing - Hematology & Oncology

Last Updated: August 02, 2010.

 

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Hematology & Oncology for July 2010. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Fecal Occult Blood Testing May Be Most Efficient Choice

FRIDAY, July 30 (HealthDay News) -- Although colonoscopy is a more accurate colorectal cancer screening method, fecal occult blood testing is likely to result in more individuals getting screened and more life-years gained, suggesting it may be the best approach for programs with limited budgets, according to a study published online July 29 in Health Affairs.

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'Ablate and Wait' Effective for Hepatocellular Carcinoma

FRIDAY, July 30 (HealthDay News) -- The use of tumor ablation followed by a period of observation for all patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) listed for transplant may be an effective strategy, as it may eliminate patients whose disease is likely to recur after transplantation, according to an opinion piece published online July 23 in Liver Transplantation.

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Specialties See Modest Compensation Increases in '09

FRIDAY, July 30 (HealthDay News) -- Most medical specialties saw modest compensation increases in 2009, but many provider organizations are still operating at a substantial loss, according to the findings of the American Medical Group Association's (AMGA) 2010 Medical Group Compensation and Financial Survey.

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Biosensor Detects Imatinib Resistance in Leukemia

THURSDAY, July 29 (HealthDay News) -- A new diagnostic method that uses fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) can detect small populations of drug-resistant cancer cells in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients treated with imatinib, according to research published in the August 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

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Sipuleucel-T Linked to Prostate Cancer Survival Benefit

WEDNESDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- Sipuleucel-T -- a therapeutic cancer vaccine -- is associated with prolonged overall survival in men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, but without a longer time to disease progression, according to research published in the July 29 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Medicare Data Show Variation in Prostate Cancer Care

WEDNESDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- Continuing care for Medicare beneficiaries with prostate cancer is associated with considerable variation, suggesting unnecessarily high expenditures for the health care system, according to research published in the August issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Mammogram Failure in 40s Mostly Due to Detection Limits

WEDNESDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- Poorer mammographic screening outcomes in women in their 40s compared with older women are mostly due to the reduced ability of mammograms to detect cancer in that age group, as opposed to a faster tumor doubling time, according to research published online July 27 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Genetics-Based Risk Score Tied to Risk for Breast Cancer

TUESDAY, July 27 (HealthDay News) -- Higher risk scores for breast cancer based on genetic variants linked to breast cancer are associated with a higher risk for cancer and are especially predictive of estrogen receptor (ER)-positive disease, according to research published in the July 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Iron Deficiency Anemia Affects Infants' Cognitive Function

TUESDAY, July 27 (HealthDay News) -- Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) in infancy appears to affect areas of cognitive function, and these effects seem to be stronger in infants with socioemotional deficits, according to research published online July 26 in Pediatrics.

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Docs, Prostate Patients Show Agreement on Adverse Events

TUESDAY, July 27 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians tend to note pelvic-related adverse events in reasonable accordance with patients receiving hormone manipulation or external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) for prostate cancer, according to research published in the August issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Cardiac Function Poor in Many Childhood Cancer Survivors

MONDAY, July 26 (HealthDay News) -- Decreased cardiac function occurs in 27 percent of five-year childhood cancer survivors (CCSs), and higher cumulative anthracycline dose, radiation to the thorax, and younger age at diagnosis are all associated with left ventricular shortening fraction (LVSF) in these patients, according to a study in the July 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Many With Low-Risk Prostate Cancer Get Aggressive Therapy

MONDAY, July 26 (HealthDay News) -- Most men diagnosed with prostate cancer who have a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) threshold below 4.0 ng/mL undergo aggressive local therapy despite having low-risk disease, according to research published in the July 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Radiation May Decrease Rate of Gynecomastia in Prostate Cases

MONDAY, July 26 (HealthDay News) -- Prophylactic breast irradiation may decrease the rate of gynecomastia in prostate cancer patients receiving bicalutamide; however, with a relatively low number of men significantly bothered by this issue, not all patients need this prophylaxis, according to research published in the August issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Pelvic Radiation in Girls Tied to Higher Stillbirth Risk

FRIDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- Female survivors of childhood cancer treated with pelvic radiation have a much higher risk of stillbirth and neonatal death in their offspring than do females who did not get radiation, but there is no increased risk for male survivors who received gonadal radiation, according to research published online July 23 in the The Lancet.

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Generic Lovenox Approved for Deep Vein Thrombosis

FRIDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- The first generic version of enoxaparin sodium injection (brand name: Lovenox), a blood-thinning drug designed to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT), has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

National Library of Medicine

Stopping Epoetin Regulates High Hemoglobin Levels

FRIDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- In hemodialysis patients, discontinuation of epoetin may be more effective in normalizing elevated hemoglobin levels than reducing the dose of the drug, according to a study published online July 22 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

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Multiple Genetic Variants Add to Prostate Cancer Risk

FRIDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- Nine genetic variants located in different regions have a cumulative association with risk of developing prostate cancer, according to a study in the August issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Novel Technique Can Detect Abnormal Cells in Lung Cancer

THURSDAY, July 22 (HealthDay News) -- A new technique can identify circulating genetically abnormal cells (CACs) in the bloodstreams of patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to a study published online July 22 in Clinical Cancer Research.

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ACOG: Cervical Cytology Not Recommended for Adolescents

THURSDAY, July 22 (HealthDay News) -- Although prior recommendations of major societies advised cervical cytology screening in adolescents based on onset of vaginal intercourse, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists now recommends that screening begin at age 21, regardless of sexual activity, due to the rarity of cervical cancer in women under 21. These recommendations have been published in the August issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Bevacizumab With Chemo Safe for Non-Squamous NSCLC

THURSDAY, July 22 (HealthDay News) -- Bevacizumab used in combination with standard chemotherapy for advanced non-squamous non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has a generally manageable safety profile, according to an open-label, single group, phase 4 study published online July 21 in The Lancet: Oncology.

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HPV Vaccine Demonstrates Sustained Protection

WEDNESDAY, July 21 (HealthDay News) -- The quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine appears to provide strong and sustained protection against low-grade lesions attributable to HPV, according to research published July 20 in BMJ.

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Gene Therapy Shows Benefit in Children With X-Linked SCID

WEDNESDAY, July 21 (HealthDay News) -- In patients lacking an HLA-identical donor for stem-cell transplantation, gene therapy may be effective in treating X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID-X1), though the treatment carries a risk of acute leukemia, according to research published in the July 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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FDA Panel Advises Against Bevacizumab for Breast Cancer

WEDNESDAY, July 21 (HealthDay News) -- A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel has recommended that bevacizumab (Avastin) not be used to treat patients with advanced breast cancer, based on lacking evidence of survival benefits.

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Melanoma Excision Depth Varies by Physician Specialty

WEDNESDAY, July 21 (HealthDay News) -- Melanoma specialists who are not dermatologists tend to excise thin invasive melanomas to a deeper level than do dermatologist specialists and non-specialists, according to research published online July 19 in the Archives of Dermatology.

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Painters Found to Have Increased Bladder Cancer Risk

TUESDAY, July 20 (HealthDay News) -- Occupational exposures in painters are associated with an elevated risk for bladder cancer, a risk that increases with years on the job, according to research published in the August issue of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

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CRC Screening Disparities Persist for Seniors on Medicare

TUESDAY, July 20 (HealthDay News) -- Despite expanding coverage for colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in the Medicare population, disparities persist based on differences in usual place of health care, education level, and insurance coverage type, according to research published in the July/August issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Melanoma Rate for Black Women, Hispanic Men Higher in Fla.

TUESDAY, July 20 (HealthDay News) -- Hispanic males and non-Hispanic black females residing in Florida have substantially higher incidence rates of melanoma than those same subgroups residing in the United States as a whole, according to research published in the July issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Dense Breasts + Hormones Up Cancer Risk After Menopause

MONDAY, July 19 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women with high breast density, especially those undergoing hormone therapy with estrogen plus progestin, are at higher risk for developing breast cancer, according to a study published online July 19 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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In Vitro Fertilization Linked to Children's Cancer Risk

MONDAY, July 19 (HealthDay News) -- Children conceived by in vitro fertilization (IVF) may have a moderately increased risk of cancer, according to research published online July 19 in Pediatrics.

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Six-Gene Signature May Predict Pancreatic Cancer Prognosis

MONDAY, July 19 (HealthDay News) -- A six-gene signature associated with metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) can independently predict survival, according to a study published online July 13 in PLoS Medicine.

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Long-Acting Methylphenidate Falls Short for Cancer Fatigue

FRIDAY, July 16 (HealthDay News) -- Long-acting methylphenidate does not appear to reduce cancer-related fatigue in general, though it may be helpful in patients with more advanced disease or more severe fatigue, according to research published online July 12 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Editorial

Blister Packs of Coumadin Recalled

THURSDAY, July 15 (HealthDay News) -- Bristol-Myers Squibb has initiated a voluntary recall of physician sample blister packs and hospital unit dose (HUD) blister packs of Coumadin, a medication used to treat or prevent blood clots.

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Phone Therapy Reduces PTSD After Stem Cell Transplant

WEDNESDAY, July 14 (HealthDay News) -- A series of telephone-administered cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) sessions can significantly improve symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and general distress after hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT), according to research published online July 12 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Telecare Management Lowers Pain, Depression in Cancer

TUESDAY, July 13 (HealthDay News) -- A centralized telephone-based care management approach combined with automated symptom monitoring can improve pain and depression in patients with cancer, according to a study published in the July 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Excess Mortality Persists in Childhood Cancer Survivors

TUESDAY, July 13 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term childhood cancer survivors face an increased mortality risk even 45 years after diagnosis, with the bulk of the excess mortality being from second primary cancers and circulatory diseases, according to research published in the July 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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ASCO Guidelines Recommend Aromatase Inhibitor Use

TUESDAY, July 13 (HealthDay News) -- An aromatase inhibitor (AI) should be included in adjuvant endocrine therapy for postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, according to updated American Society of Clinical Oncology guidelines published online July 12 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Nomogram Helps Predict Best Treatment for DCIS

TUESDAY, July 13 (HealthDay News) -- A nomogram using clinical and pathological tumor characteristics can predict the risk for local recurrence of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), and can assist in making individualized treatment decisions, according to research published online July 12 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Breast Density Not a Risk Factor for BRCA Carriers

MONDAY, July 12 (HealthDay News) -- Although breast density is a risk factor for breast cancer in the general population, it does not appear to increase risk in women with BRCA mutations, according to research published online July 12 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Comorbidities Add to Colorectal Cancer Racial Disparities

MONDAY, July 12 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients with colorectal cancer, comorbidities and socioeconomic status appear to be relatively important explanations for the poorer survival seen in blacks compared to Asians and whites, according to research published online July 12 in Cancer.

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Massage, Humor Do Not Help Stem Cell Transplant Patients

MONDAY, July 12 (HealthDay News) -- Complementary interventions, including massage, humor therapy, and relaxation/imagery, for children undergoing stem cell transplants and their parents aren't associated with significant benefits for the children, according to a study published online July 12 in Cancer.

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Squamous Cell Skin Cancer Linked to HPV Infection

FRIDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- Infection with genus β human papillomavirus (HPV) appears to be associated with incidence of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin, with the risk higher for long-term users of systemic glucocorticoids, according to a study published online July 8 in BMJ.

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Nearly 800,000 Cancer Deaths Averted Since Early '90s

THURSDAY, July 8 (HealthDay News) -- Because of reductions in overall cancer death rates among both men and women in the United States, approximately 767,000 deaths from cancer were averted between the early 1990's and 2006, according to a new report published online July 7 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

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Somatic BRCA1/2 Aberrations Frequent in Ovarian Cancer

THURSDAY, July 8 (HealthDay News) -- Somatic and germline mutations and expression loss in BRCA1 and BRCA2 are common enough in ovarian cancer to warrant assessment in trials for predicting the benefit of poly(ADP ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP1) inhibitors, according to research published online July 6 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Personal, Substantial Diagnosis Talk Preferred by Patients

THURSDAY, July 8 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer patient satisfaction scores are higher when physicians disclose their cancer diagnoses in person, in a personal setting, and spend a substantial amount of time discussing the diagnosis and treatment options, according to research published online July 6 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Fish Oil Usage Linked to Lower Risk of Certain Breast Cancers

THURSDAY, July 8 (HealthDay News) -- The use of fish oil supplementation may be associated with a lower risk of certain breast cancers, according to research published in the July issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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H. Pylori's Link to Cancer Risk Unaffected by Other Factors

THURSDAY, July 8 (HealthDay News) -- People who have evidence of prior Helicobacter pylori infection are at reduced risk for some forms of esophageal cancer, and this risk reduction is not modified by genotype, other host characteristics, or environmental factors, according to a study in the July issue of Gastroenterology.

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Many Doctors in Specialties Other Than Their Early Choices

WEDNESDAY, July 7 (HealthDay News) -- Ten years after graduation, approximately one-fourth of doctors work in a specialty other than the one they chose in their third year post-graduation, according to research published online July 6 in BMJ.

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FOBT Accuracy Declines As Temperature Rises

WEDNESDAY, July 7 (HealthDay News) -- Fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) for the detection of colorectal cancer is significantly less accurate in the summer than in the winter, according to research published online July 5 in Gut.

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Breast Cancer Risk in Men With BRCA2 Mutation Quantified

WEDNESDAY, July 7 (HealthDay News) -- Men with a BRCA2 genetic mutation have a 7.1 percent chance of developing breast cancer by the time they turn 70, and an 8.4 percent chance by the time they turn 80, according to research published online June 28 in the Journal of Medical Genetics.

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Olaparib Shows Benefit in Cancer With BRCA Mutations

WEDNESDAY, July 7 (HealthDay News) -- Olaparib may be useful in treating women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations who have advanced breast or ovarian cancer, according to the results of two studies published online July 6 in The Lancet.

Abstract - Tutt
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Abstract - Audeh
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Shorter Telomeres Linked to Higher Cancer Incidence

TUESDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- There appears to be a statistically significant inverse relationship between telomere length and the incidence of cancer as well as cancer mortality, according to research published in the July 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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CDC: U.S. Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates Up

TUESDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- Colorectal cancer (CRC) screening rates have increased in the United States since 2002 and mammography rates have plateaued, while millions of people have not undergone recommended CRC screening, and millions of women have not had a recent mammogram, according to research published July 6 in an early issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Second Opinion May Be Warranted Before Prostatectomy

MONDAY, July 5 (HealthDay News) -- A mandatory second opinion to interpret prostate needle biopsy prior to radical prostatectomy in a few cases results in differences that may affect therapy, according to research published in the July issue of the The Journal of Urology.

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Passing Tanning Bed Laws May Require New Strategy

FRIDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- Laws to restrict underage tanning bed use can be more successful if multiple organizations coordinate their efforts and if advocates receive more knowledgeable advice, according to research published in the July issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Report Addresses Physician Financial Conflicts in Care

THURSDAY, July 1 (HealthDay News) -- In a new report, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) urges U.S. teaching hospitals to establish policies that ensure financial relationships between physicians and industry do not result in conflicts of interest that influence patient care.

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Small Polyps Found in Virtual Colonoscopy Rarely Malignant

THURSDAY, July 1 (HealthDay News) -- Small polyps discovered in computed tomography colonography (CTC) rarely contain high-grade dysplasia or are malignant, and the malignancy rate for large polyps discovered in CTC is less than 1 percent, suggesting that less aggressive management of lesions detected by CTC may be warranted, according to research published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Abstract
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Switching Prostate Meds Can Drive Up PSA Velocity

THURSDAY, July 1 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), switching from one 5α-reductase inhibitor to another can result in a significant change in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) velocity that may prompt physicians to order unnecessary biopsies, according to research published in the July issue of The Journal of Urology.

Abstract
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PSA Program Linked to Less Prostate Cancer Mortality

THURSDAY, July 1 (HealthDay News) -- A prostate-specific antigen (PSA)-based screening program is associated with a reduction in prostate cancer mortality of nearly half over 14 years, but with a substantial risk of overdiagnosis, according to research published online July 1 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Continuous Flow Device Associated With Bleeding

THURSDAY, July 1 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who receive a commonly used axial flow pump, the HeartMate II (HM II), are at high risk for major bleeding during both long-term support and heart transplantation, possibly due to acquired von Willebrand syndrome, according to research published online June 30 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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